For eight cellos, live Max/MSP/Jitter video improvisation, and antique film. Premiered by Tarab Cello Ensemble. 7 minutes, 33 seconds.
Frog City was inspired by the sounds of foghorns, which I have often listened to and recorded in San Francisco, and is a continuation of my earlier tape music project, Dead Reckoning.
Each sound in the piece is either a foghorn, or partials thereof. In a sense, the piece is about the ways in which the foghorns — initially pillars of solidity — break up into harmonics, in much the same way as other solid entities start to seem much more malleable when engulfed in fog. I also wanted to create a visual analogy for this process by gradually processing antique footage more and more intensely.
As for the title: a young friend of mine, hearing the word “fog” for the first time, kept asking: Where are the frogs? And I started to imagine the piece also as a chorus of slowed-down, otherworldy frogs.
Frog City was also the soundtrack for the film Through The Ice, by award-winning director Jennie Livingston.